Last December, at the start of their qualifying bid, Adigun and her team had to resort to crowdfunding to back their ambition as Nigerian sports authorities had made no provisions for winter sports. Those efforts paid off as their GoFundMe met their $75,000 target. Even better, their achievement attracted interest from global brands with Under Armour and Visa coming on board as sponsors.

The Nigerian bobsled  team’s uphill path to the Winter Olympics is one that familiar to other African athletes who’ve participated at the event. In 1984, Lamine Guèye, a Senegalese skier acknowledged as the first black African participant in the event requested the International Ski Federation to set up a federation in Senegal. More recently, in 2002, Isaac Menyoli had to start a national skiing federation before making Cameroon’s only appearance at the winter games. In cases where federations already existed, athletes often had to bootstrap their participation.

Having made the big leap, Adigun says the team is hoping to make winter sports more prominent in Nigeria. “Nothing makes me prouder than to know that I can play a small role in creating opportunities for winter sports to take place in Nigeria,” she told ESPN. ”Our objective now is to be the best representation of Africa that the Winter Olympics have ever witnessed.”

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